15 JANUARY 1977, Page 16


Sir: I notice with dismay that you have begun to give space to advertisements which serve to promote homosexual purposes. I think I understand most of the arguments for free speech and free enterprise. But they are not 'the only considerations bearing on this controversial issue. Clearly, if the advertisements have any effects, they will act to promote and facilitate homosexual contacts and activity. They will become part of the movement tending to de-heterosexualise society and to `normalise' homosexual activities, and indeed to make it appear chic and 'gay.'

It is not too imaginative to interpret this postwar trend, not in terms of emancipation, but as one of several 'deviant' outcomes arising from an increase in stress associated with an admass civilisation in the throes of rapid technological change. Be that as it may, it is worth reflecting on the consequences for society of a growing and overt homosexual movement.

Perhaps you have been thinking about these consequences and you feel optimistic. For myself, as a Burkean in such matters, I feel profoundly pessimistic about such a development. However, I am a reasonable man, and I shall be glad to be persuaded IV you that your advertisements, which advance homosexual ends, tend on balance to the general good of society.

Ezra Mishan London School of Economics Houghton Street, London WC2